D4

 

Type:
'D' Class

Pennant No.:
I.74

Laid Down:
24th February 1910.
Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness.

Commissioned:
29th November 1911.
Lt. M.E. Nasmith.

Commander:
1911
Lt. M.E. Nasmith (Later Dunbar-Nasmith).
Oct. 1912
Lt. K.M. Bruce.
1912
Lt. Cdr. N.F. Laurence.
Sept. 1914 - 1915??
Lt. Cdr. J.R.G. Moncreiffe.
Aug. 1916 - May 1917
Lt. E.E.C. Tufnell.
1918
Lt. C.B. Barry.

Complement:
25
3 Officers, 22 Ratings.

Service Career:
1913
8th Flotilla, HMS Maidstone, Portsmouth.
1914 - 1916
8th Flotilla, HMS Maidstone, Harwich.
1916
3rd Flotilla, HMS Vulcan, Immingham.
1917
3rd Flotilla, HMS Hebe, Immingham.
1917
Platypus Flotilla, HMS Platypus, Queenstown.
1917
Platypus Flotilla, HMS Platypus, Killybegs.
1918
1st Flotilla, HMS Dolphin, Portsmouth.
1918
6th Flotilla, HMS Dolphin, Portsmouth.

Fate:
She had a lucky escape on 22nd June 1915.

She attacked the German minelayer Bielefeld which had gone aground in the Heligoland Bight.   Her captain decided to sink the destroyer that was standing by the grounded minelayer before sinking Bielefeld.

Unfortunately the torpedo missed and she found herself being hunted in the very shallow water (30 feet).   The destroyer made repeated runs over the submarine in an attempt to ram the conning tower and they could do nothing but hope for the best.   Eventually the destroyer made off and Moncreiffe was able to surface and sink the Bielefeld.

Sank UB72 on 12th May 1918.

This submarine is reputed to be the first to be fitted with a gun.
The following was recently sent to me via E-mail by Duncan Dunbar-Nasmith the grandson of Lt. M.E. Nasmith.

D4 did indeed have the first gun to be mounted on a submarine.   The shell case from the first shot to be fired from D4 can be seen on display in the Royal Navy Submarine Museum, having spent many years here as a gong!

Another interesting story about D4 is that my grandfather took Winston Churchill, Roger Keyes and the future King George for a trip submerged across Plymouth Bay.

What course would history have taken if they had not come up?
Sold 19th December 1921.